Bangladesh is one of the countries that are most critically vulnerable to the potentially devastating impact of climate change. The country has been traditionally ravaged by a range of natural disasters like cyclones, floods and draughts. In recent years the severity, intensity and unpredictability of such disasters have significantly increased, which experts have linked to the climate change.1 The impact of natural disasters is further aggravated by man-made menace of governance gap, weaknesses in the national integrity system and institutionalization of democratic accountability, and widespread corruption2.
Inspite of being one of the lowest emitters of greenhouse gas (no more that 0.2 percent of global total)3, Bangladesh is on top of the list of countries at the receiving end of the impact of climate change. The Government's Climate Change Action Plan (2009-2018), focuses specifically on
1 Department of Environment, GOB, Climate change and Bangladesh, September 2007.
2 According to the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released by Transparency International, Bangladesh was ranked at the top of the list of countries where corruption perceived to be the highest in the world from 2001-5. Since then Bangladesh’s score in the index in a scale of 0-10 increased from 0.7 to 2.4 in 2010 being ranked in the 12th position. With the score remaining below 3, Bangladesh is considered to be among countries where corruption is an issue of great concern. www.ti-bangladesh.org, www.transparency.org 3 BCCSAAP 2008. Adaptation and mitigation. It is anchored on building the capacity and resilience with specific emphasis on meeting the needs of the poor and vulnerable, including women and children. The strategy identifies six main pillars: (i) food security, social safety and health; (ii) comprehensive disaster management; (iii) infrastructure; (iv) research and knowledge management; (v) mitigation and low carbon development; and (vi) capacity building.
The relevant ministries/departments will be responsible for implementing the whole range of programmes and projects following from the action plan, which estimates that $5 billion will be needed in the first 5 years. The Government expects to raise these huge amounts from the national as well as international sources including development partners and other financing mechanisms.4 The Bangladesh Climate Change Trust Fund (BCCTF), created with a budgetary commitment of the Government initially of Taka 1,400 crore, is to be boosted by another Taka 700 crore5. A separate fund called Bangladesh Climate Change Resilience Fund (BCCRF) of an initial amount of $113.5 million has been created with the support of development partners. Whatever may the source of funds, and whatever the amount, the very nature of the challenges as well as types of projects to be undertaken, demand highest level of transparency, accountability and integrity in the use of the funds and in every stage of implementation of projects for adaptation and mitigation.
Climate Governance Integrity Programme
In this context Transparency International has undertaken the Climate Governance Integrity Programme aimed at helping ensure that climate financing decisions and actions are conducted with transparency, accountability and integrity so as to prevent corruption and misuse of funds from undermining climate goals. A key objective of the programme is to increase capacities of stakeholders, particularly civil society to contribute to climate finance governance policy development, implementation and oversight. The programme will be implemented in three phases with the participation of stakeholders, including the Government, fund management authority, donors, civil society, media, NGOs, coordinated by chapters of TI, like TI-Bangladesh.